Alaska State Troopers reported Tuesday a significant drug bust after a traffic stop, bringing the total of seized drugs value to $300,000 in the last year.

AST reported it stopped a 2003 Dodge Truck near mile 3 of the Chiniak Highway for a traffic offense.

The troopers report claimed the driver of the vehicle, Loren Delacruz, 24, of Kodiak, was found to be on adult probation for the prior offense of attempted robbery in the second degree.

“During the contact, AST located narcotics and a large sum of money inside the vehicle. The vehicle was seized and Delacruz was remanded to the Kodiak jail on the charge of adult probation violation and violating conditions of release,” the report said.

The trooper report also claimed that a passenger in the vehicle, True Cobban, 19, of Kodiak, was remanded to the Kodiak jail on charges of “misconduct involving a controlled substance in the 4th degree and tampering with physical evidence.”

“Further investigation of the vehicle revealed approximately 29 grams of methamphetamine, 27 grams of marijuana, as well as packaging material were found inside of the vehicle; all of which has an estimated street value of approximately $58,000,” the report added.

Recent drug busts in Kodiak — for the Kodiak Police Department as well as troopers — have included a $2.2 million bust, the largest in the KPD history in late April, a heroin bust in early May, and a drug bust and kidnapping in mid-May. In June, AST apprehended a woman in Anchorage trying to fly roughly $14,000 worth of black tar heroin into Kodiak..

Both troopers and police have been grappling with a rapidly growing drug problem in town that has seen large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine being seized from an increasing number of drug users and dealers.

This latest bust makes more than half a dozen high-profile drug arrests in 2014.

Sgt. Eric Olsen of the Alaska State Troopers reports that AST has seized more than $300,000 worth of narcotics in the past 12 months.

The number of drug busts are “starting to stack up that’s for sure… But for the Kodiak Police Department and AST we’re seeing an increase obviously in narcotics, both in residences and in vehicles and on people’s persons. We know it’s out there, as we stated before it’s definitely a growing problem here in Kodiak, and we’re doing the best we can as a law enforcement agency to take care of business,” Olsen told the Mirror.

Authorities have said that more dealers are coming to town to take advantage of Kodiak’s highly profitable and inflated drug trade and also that some gang elements are operating here as well.

The troopers report noted the investigation into the Chiniak Highway bust is continuing with additional expected to be forwarded to the Kodiak District Attorney's office for review.

Olsen conceded that law enforcement was still making “baby steps” in the drug battle on Kodiak’s turf — the number of drug busts was only the tip of the iceberg in relation to how much drug activity there is in town.

“It’s not going to be an overnight success. But we do realize that we have to take baby steps and just keep on pushing forward and do the best we can. But it’s concerning obviously,” said Olsen.

Contact Peter J. Mladineo at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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